Friday, August 20, 2010

Food Prices Increases

Seems rather mundane but food prices are on the rise here.China's Consumer Price Index accelerated 3.3% last month from a year earlier according to a Shanghai Daily News article.This compared with an increase of 2.9% in June and 3.1% in May.Food costs rose 6.8% from a year earlier in July,while prices in the non-food sector rose just 1.6%.
Just figures bandied about by financial analysts and the National Bureau of Statistics?.No.You can see the direct result of the recent extreme weather such as droughts and floods on food prices.
The price of the 1.5litre bottle of water has increased from 1.70 yuan to 2 yuan over the last two weeks at one supermarket I shop at.The 500 ml milk carton likewise has increased in price from 5 yuan to 5.3 yuan and in some upmarket supermarkets to 5.50 yuan.The box of 25 teabags have also increased in price from 10 yuan to 10.30 yuan and in some cases up to 10.50 yuan.There doesnt seem to be any consistency in the prices increases. In some places chocolate bars remain untouched by inflation steady at 3 yuan while other stores have hiked the price up to3.60 yuan.For people on low fixed wages and trying to save for their own house and apartment these increases provide a further challenge to stretching household budgets.
You can speculate why the food prices have increased apart from weather factor-there are a great number of tourists here for the Expo and there is an ever increasing flood of workers into the city needing food,drink and housing.All of which create demand.

And the Heat Goes On
Earlier in the week the temperature hit at least 39 degrees celsius for the fourth consecutive day.Apparently this is the first time this has happened since records began some 137 years ago.The mercury last Sunday hit 39.8 degrees.What is curious is that the temperature never seems to hit 40 degrees yet having experienced similiar weather over the past 10 summers it certainly feels hotter than 39 point whatever.I've been told factories and other companies must down tools should it ever hit the magical 40 degree mark.
There have also been 21 high temperature days defined by the Met Bureau as days of 35 degrees and above.A few thunderstorms and heavy rain cooled the city down temporarily during the week but the forecast for the next few days predict temperatures in the mid to high 30's.

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